Skip to main content
6:00 pm
02/05/13 02/05/13 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> based on generations of legal principles and supreme court decisions handed down during world war ii and this current conflict, it is clear the united states citizenship alone does not make -- does not make such individuals immune from being targeted. >> in a secret justice department paper, the obama administration claims it has legal authority to assassinate
6:01 pm
u.s. citizens overseas even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the u.s. we will speak with jameel jaffer from the aclu. the obama administration is claiming the legal authority to indefinitely detain americans without charge or trial. >> the way in which our fundamental rights, our bill of rights, our constitution freedoms have been abridged by the last 10 years and more as president obama is unhappily following in that tradition. >> we will speak with whistleblower daniel ellsberg who is in new york this week to attend an appeal in his lawsuit against the ndaa. we will speak with computer security researcher jacob appelbaum who lost a federal appeals court ruling that the government could subpoena his twitter and e-mail information without a warrant as part of its probe into wikileaks. the boy scouts of america prepared to vote on whether to lift its ban on gay members. >> the question always comes down to, can case raise quick --
6:02 pm
raise kids? most people really do not have an answer. i raise my hand and say, i was raised by gay couple and i'm doing pretty well. i started 99% on the act, i own and operate my own business, i am an eagle scout. i believe i would make you very proud. >> we will speak with eagle scouts zach wahls. all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the obama administration's legal rationale for assassinating u.s. citizens without charge has been revealed for the first time. a secret justice department document obtained by nbc news says the administration can target citizens who are "senior operational leaders of al qaeda or an associated force" even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the
6:03 pm
u.s. the documents describe is a white memo, provided to members of the senate intelligence and judiciary committee last year. its release follows failed civil liberty groups fighting legal justification for the targeting of an american. we will have more after headlines. and the report has revealed a detailed look at global involvement in the cia secret program of prisons, rendition and torture in the years after 9/11. the open society justice initiative says 54 countries aided the cia until president obama halted the program in 2009. the report also reveals that at least 136 people were held by the cia during those years -- the largest tally to date. the countries' assistance ranged from allowing cia planes to refuel to hosting the prisons where the detainees were tortured. the report's authors said --
6:04 pm
the report comes as an italian appeals court has reversed a lower court decision acquitting three cia agents involved in the 2003 kidnapping of a muslim cleric. abu omar was seized in the streets of milan in 2003, taken to u.s. bases in italy and germany before being sent to egypt where he suffered torture during a four-year imprisonment. the reversal means all 26 tried in the case had been found guilty in italy. none have been extradited, but are subject to arrest if they travel in europe. the justice department is filing civil charges against the credit rating agency standard and poor's for improperly rating mortgage securities leading up to the nation's financial crisis. the charges would mark the government's first enforcement action against a major credit ratings agency following the nation's near economic collapse. but s&p only faces civil penalties of fines and restrictions, not jail time for top executives. prosecutors reportedly this all
6:05 pm
but -- decided to file the civil case after s&p balked at paying fines of at least $1 million. the federal bureau of prisons has announced plans to review the use of solitary confinement in prisons nationwide. the u.s. is among the world leaders in holding prisoners alone in small cells, in some cases up to 23 hours a day. in a statement, the aclu welcome the review saying -- president obama took his public campaign for gun control on the road monday with a speech in minnesota. with his state of the union address one week away, he emphasized his plan to ban assault weapons and increase background checks on gun buyers. >> we don't have to agree on everything to agree it is time to do something. [applause] there won't be perfect solutions, we will not save every life, but we can make a difference.
6:06 pm
that is our responsibility as americans. that is what i will do every single day as long as i have the honor of serving as your president. >> a number of republican senators have announced they won't try to filibuster the confirmation of chuck hagel as secretary of defense. the pledge by arizona senator john mccain and others likely means hagel has enough votes should another republican decide to filibuster his bid. activists in syria are claiming over 270 people have been killed in nationwide violence since sunday. the syrian observatory for human rights says at least 90 people died across syria on monday after some 180 people lost their lives building was bombed in the northern city of aleppo. the head of refugee operations for the middle east and north africa warned syria's violence is causing system of destruction. >> it is an appalling situation in syria. all of these figures probably are not capturing the true story
6:07 pm
of how syria, the people, but also the syria the country, are facing systematic destruction. >> for diplomats recently have claimed a small breakthrough in the impasse between syrian rebels and president al-assad after opposition leader said he is open to sitting down with al- assad's aids. iran in president ahmadinejad has arrived in cairo for a three-day visit to attend a summit of the organization of islamic cooperation. it is the first trip to egypt by an iranian leader since iran's 1979 islamic revolution. israel has carried out a new series of raids in the occupied west bank, arresting 23 members of the group hamas. three of those detained were lawmakers in the palestinian parliament. the arrests come as israeli forces have dismantled yet another palestinian encampment challenging the occupation of the west bank. in what appears to be growing strategy, palestinian activists established a new outpost to protect their land from
6:08 pm
expanding settlement growth. israeli forces and settlers moved in, firing live ammunition and arresting 10 people. it was the third palestinian, to be established and removed in the occupied west bank over the past month. the protest encampment follows the conclusions of a u.n. human rights council inquiry reaffirming the settlements' illegality and calling for complete dismantlement. panel chair christine chanet said israel's leadership has knowingly violated international law by continuing the settlements' growth. >> is robust cease activities and provide -- israel must cease activities. you will see in our report, i think it is the first time you will find a historical background exhaustive of all the sentiments [indiscernible]
6:09 pm
the governments of israel are openly, sometimes not so openly in international stage, supports the settlements but they have the full council [indiscernible] >> a group of civil rights lawyers has followed -- lawsuit seeking to end in new york's spying on americans. it alleges the nypd violates the landmark guidelines which limit how police carry out political investigations. the attorneys are calling for an end to all spying on muslims unless there's evidence of wrongdoing and for court auditor to oversee compliance. house lawmakers in arkansas have voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy with no exception for women who are victims of rape or incest. the measure now heads to the state senate, which last week passed an even harsher measure banning abortions after detection of a fetal heartbeat. seven other states currently ban abortion at 20 weeks.
6:10 pm
in new york, hundreds of people packed a budget hearing in the state capital albany on monday urging governor andrew cuomo to reject the gas drilling process known as fracking. cuomo is expected to soon decide whether to lift the moratorium on fracking, a process that involves blasting fluid deep underground to extract gas. the demonstrators voiced concerns fracking would pollute water supplies, harm the environment, and threaten public health. among them was the actor and activist mark ruffalo. >> 2 trillion dollars that is in renewable energy should come to this state, leading the world, we should be fossil-free by 2030. we can do that with our help. we will help you get there. we will help the president. but we will cream you if you opened at new york state to fracking. >> direct actions are continuing against the keystone xl pipeline that would direct tar sands oil
6:11 pm
from canada to the gulf coast. on monday, an oklahoma woman temporarily halted construction on the pipeline by chaining her neck to an excavator. she was arrested following her act of protest. president obama has delayed a decision on the keystone pipeline until the spring. he initially postponed until after the presidential election. those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the obama administration's into a legal justification for assassinating u.s. citizens without charge had been revealed for the first line. according to a secret justice department document detained by nbc news, the obama administration claims it has the legal authority to target citizens who are "senior operational leaders," at al qaeda or "and associated force" even if there's no intelligence indicating they are engaged in
6:12 pm
an active plot to attack the west the september 2011, a u.s. drone strike in yemen killed two american citizens, anwar awlaki and samir khan. the following month, another u.s. drone strike killed al- awlaki's's 16-year-old son abdulrahman al awlaki who was born in denver. the document obtained by nbc news is described as a white memo that was provided to members of the senate intelligence and judiciary committees as a summer of a classified memo prepared by the justice department's justice and legal counsel. last month a federal judge denied a request by the aclu and the new york times for the justice department to disclose its legal justification for the targeted killing of americans. the obama administration secrecy around the drone program is expected to be a top issue at this week's confirmation hearing of white house counterterrorism adviser john brennan to the director of the cia. brennan has been dubbed by critics to be obama's assassination czar.
6:13 pm
joining us now is jameel jaffer , deputy legal director of the aclu. you have looked at the white memo. this is something you have it asking for for quite some time. talk about its significance. go with it -- through it with us. >> it is a remarkable document and something everybody ought to read in the sand like everyone should read the torture memos from the last in ministration. it professes to set out the power the government has to carry out the targeted killings of american citizens who are located far away from any battlefield, even when they have not been charged with a crime, even when they do not present any imminent threat in any ordinary network. it is the pri's sweeping powers set out in the memo purports to provide a legal test vacation for that power and explain why the limits on that power cannot be enforced in any court. >> the confidential justice
6:14 pm
department white paper you're talking about introduces a more expansive definition of self- defense or imminent attack than any articulated by the u.s. government before. it reads -- can you talk about the significance of that and how exactly imminent is defined in this document or not defined? >> you have to start with the acknowledgement there are circumstances in which the government has the authority and maybe even a responsibility to use legal force. even if you think about it domestically, someone is waiting a gun -- waving a gun, you don't have to get award for legal force. but that is when the threat is imminent in the ordinary meaning
6:15 pm
of the term. there's not time to go to a judge or deliberate. but the kind of eminence the government is defining here and the way the government has defined the term is much broader. they're talking about situations in which the person presents no immediate threat, no known plot. these people are located far away from any actual battlefields. you're not talking about the situation where there are battlefields the government has to worry about. you're talking about something much more like a law enforcement context. in that context, the traditional rule is the government has the authority to use legal force only in narrow circumstances. this memo redefines the circumstances in charlie. >> let's turn to attorney general eric holder commenting last march when he outlined what the white house billed as the legal rationale for its claimed right to kill u.s. citizens who belong to al qaeda or associated forces. >> it is an unfortunate but
6:16 pm
undeniable fact some of the threats we face come from a small number of united states citizens who have decided to commit a violent attacks against their own country from abroad. based on generations old legal principles and supreme court decisions handed down during world war ii as well as during this current conflict, it is clear that united states citizenship alone does not make -- does not make such individuals immune from being targeted. >> jameel jaffer, respond. >> it is not a question of immunity. no man is arguing that americans are internally opinion from the government's use of legal force. under what circumstances than the government used legal force is what is in question. those circumstances traditionally have been fined nearly, for good reason. now the government is creating an extremely broad category of people who can be targeted without judicial review before the fact, without judicial
6:17 pm
assessment after the fact. it is very dangerous. at some level, the people who have written this memo and exercising this authority in the obama administration must be convinced of their own trustworthiness. but even if you accept the people who are in office now are trustworthy in the sense, this power will be available to the next administration and the one after that and every future conflict, not just the one against al qaeda. according to the administration, the power is available all over the world, not just geographically, and battlefields. >> what is the meat is not an officially called memo, but a white paper? does that have legal implications? >> some have said this is a kind of transparency that the administration through these kinds of leaks is giving the public the ability to assess the strength of the in ministrations
6:18 pm
legal argument. the truth is, this is just a briefing document, not a legal memo. it tells us a little about the authority the government is claiming, the legal memos are still secret. we have been litigating for those memos for 18 years to two years -- 18 months to two years. we just pulled one case here in new york. >> what is the case your organization is doing? >> their two freedom of information act cases we're litigating. one is in new york and 1 ntc 1 is an effort to get the legal memos. the new york times as a parallel request. the one in dc is about civilian casualties. who has been killed in these drone strikes? the administration has not released numbers. we are reliant on those outside the administration to do that work. we think the administration should release its own numbers. >> u.s. citizens and non-u.s.
6:19 pm
citizens? >> yes, most of them are not u.s. citizens that are being killed. only four have been killed that are u.s. citizens. the rest of the noncitizens, some killed in somalia, pakistan, according to the figures. we're talking somewhere on the order of 4000 people who have been killed with these drones. the administration still has not released the legal numbers that purport to justify the program. one of the cases we're litigating, the one in new york, is the effort to get that justification. this briefing paper provides as little more information, but it is not a justification itself. for the same reasons the government was right in 2009 to release the torture memos, we think they should release these. >> let's get specific. i saw you in sundance, the premier of a film called "dirty
6:20 pm
wars." it tells the story, among others, of abdulrahman awlaki, 16-year-old born in denver, killed in a drone strike two weeks after his father was killed in a drone strike in yemen. talk about his case and how this relates. when does the u.s. stop? what is the justification for killing a 16-year-old boy? >> first, i think one of the most chilling aspects of the power the government is claiming here is they are climbing the authority to do all of this in secret, not just keep it secret from the courts or keep their justification secret from the courts, but keep the exercise of this power secret so they can carry out these killings of american citizens among others without even acknowledging to the public or court that they have exercised their authority. that really is a chilling
6:21 pm
proposition. that is one of the things they have done in the abdulrahman, a bill to abolish the carried out this killing, although everyone knows it to be true. ,ut we have other litigation's a constitutional case on behalf of the three u.s. citizens who were killed in 2011 including abdulrahman. that is a case in which we're raising clams and the fourth amendment and fifth amendment, the due process clause, arguing the government does not have the right again -- except in these extremely narrow circumstances -- to carry out without judicial review. the government's response has not been to defend their authority on merit, they're not saying that they have the right to do it, they have not filed those in court, but instead they're arguing that this question of whether the government acted lawfully or not is a political question committed to the political
6:22 pm
branches and the judges have no role to play, no role whatsoever to play in assessing whether the killing of an american citizen was lawful or not. >> how does it stop? where does it stop? you kill them in yemen, no trial or charge. what about in the u.s.? >> there is no line. if you look at the memo of the briefing paper released yesterday, there is no geographic line. you can remember how most of the country reacted when president bush declared the authority to hold american citizens, detained in the u.s., most of the country said, you cannot be serious. you're going to treat the united states as part of a battlefield? you're going to detained americans inside the u.s.? and now the obama administration, if you accept the memo on its face, except a briefing paper on its face, the obama administration is making a greater claim of authority in some ways. they are arguing the authority
6:23 pm
to kill american citizens has no geographic linked -- line. >> i wanted to turn to comments made by john brennan, now the pick for cia director. he made these comments last may and publicly confirmed that the united states has used drones to conduct targeted killings overseas. >> president obama believes it done carefully, deliberately and responsibly, we can be more transparent and still ensure our nation's security. so let me say it as simply as i can. yes, in full accordance with the law and order to prevent terrorist attacks on the united states in to save american lives, the united states government conducts targeted strikes against specific al qaeda terrorists, sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft often referred to publicly as drones. i am here today because
6:24 pm
president obama has instructed us to be more open with the american people about these efforts. >> that was obama's nominee for cia director john brennan speaking last may. jameel jaffer, your comments? >> i think this is in some ways a good time for the release of this briefing paper because you mention john brennan has been nominated to head the cia, there will be a vote on this nomination later this week. some senators have said the nomination should not go forward unless the administration is more forthcoming with its legal analysis, unless they release the memos. the administration should release that memo. there are open questions also about the role reddit played in the torture program and those questions ought to be answered before the vote goes forward. it is good timing. there are some serious questions
6:25 pm
that ought to be asked. >> do you think the democrats will ask these questions? >> there were a group of senators yesterday that wrote to the administration asking for the release of the legal memo and steny to connect the legal memo to these boats -- and seemingly to connect the legal memo to these boatvotes. definitely there are senators who think this is important. if people can make it known to their senators they think it is important, that would be a good thing. >> and your thoughts on john brennan being the cia pick, already when president obama wanted to do it the first time around and was forced to withdraw his name because there's such an outcry? >> i have reservations. there are important questions about his role in the torture program. people have said john brennan is an advocate for transparency. if that is true, now's the time to release the olc memo, the
6:26 pm
legal counsel memo. i think the debate about his nomination should be informed by the memo. >> we have a report in headlines about open society, justice initiative, and you are a fellow there right now on leave from the aclu, putting out a new report that has revealed a detailed look at the cia programs, six renditions and torture. the initiative says 54 countries aided the cia until president obama stop the program in 2009 called globalizing torture. it reveals at least 136 people were held by the cia during those years. how significant is that? what i think it is the most comprehensive report thus far about the people who are held by the cia and what happened to them and also the complicity of other countries in the cia's program. some of those countries have
6:27 pm
begun to grapple with the question of accountability for their role in that program. as you know, the u.s. has not, the obama administration has interfered with civil suits to hold officials accountable for their role in the program and fell to bring criminal charges against officials who supervised the program. but i think it is very important with the oversight of justice initiative and i think it would create pressure not just on other countries to begin to grapple with that question of accountability, but on the u.s. as well. >> final question on this issue of targeted killings. is this president obama's answer to attempting to close guantanamo? you don't need prisons if you kill people before they go to prison? >> i hope not. without more information about who it is the administration is killing and on what basis, it is difficult to make or to draw a conclusion on that question, but
6:28 pm
i think when you see the kinds of authority the government is planning in briefing papers like this which raises the question about to what extent this program, the drone program, it is in fact a substitute. >> and as you said, don't the documents say they will kill someone if it puts u.s. personnel at risk? >> that's right. one of the really troubling things about the document is the way it defines this phrase "capture is infeasible." once you see that phrase in the first paragraph, it sounds like a restriction on the government's authority to use lethal force. but halfway through the memo, they redefine that phrase to mean something more like "capture is inconvenient." once you do that, you have opened up the possibility of the use of legal force more broadly. it does raise the question whether they are using the use
6:29 pm
of legal force as a substitute for detention. and even if they're not, whether that possibility is open for another and ministration in the future. >> jameel jaffer, thank you for being with us, deputy legal director for the aclu. coming up later, we will speak with daniel ellsberg from the pentagon papers and also jacob appelbaum, who just lost a case. he does not have the right, says a federal court, to know when the government is taking his twitter information or email information. next, the controversy in the boy scouts. will the boy scouts of america allow gay leaders, gay members? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
6:30 pm
6:31 pm
>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. >> the boy scouts of america board members opened a three-day meeting on monday in which they will consider lifting its controversial ban on openly gay members. the group's national executive board is expected to vote wednesday on the ban which was reaffirmed just last year. on monday group of current and former scouts -- and scout leaders -- rallied outside the boy scouts headquarters in dallas. among them was jennifer tyrrell, who was removed as a den leader of her son's pack in ohio because she is a lesbian. she described her experience last year while receiving an award from the gay and lesbian alliance against defamation.
6:32 pm
>> about a year ago this guy right here came to me and said, i want to be a boy scout. i was hesitant. before i knew it, i was living a life of merit badges and knots. [laughter] but i loved it. soon they ask me to be a den leader. an opportunity i embraced. the year that followed was truly one of the most memorable experiences and mother could ever imagine. to get the wooded community service projects, served food at soup kitchens, collected toys during christmastime, worked on a conservation project building birdhouses for a state park. there will be completing that tomorrow without me. -- they will be completing that tomorrow without me. so here's my son growing into a leader and i had a front row seat.
6:33 pm
then last week i received a phone call from a local scout leaders and council saying, you are being kicked out of the program. i was shocked. i had done nothing wrong. i was forcibly removed as den leader because i am gay. >> that was former boy scout leader jennifer tyrrell speaking last year. on sunday, president obama was asked about the band during interview on cbs. >> should scouting be open two days? >> yes. >> why so? >> i think my attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life. the scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership
6:34 pm
and will serve people for the rest of their lives. i think nobody should be barred from that. >> former republican presidential candidate rick santorum has weighed in on the debate saying change in the scouts' policy will cause a mass exodus of members and that "scouting may not survive this transformation of american society." a 2000 supreme court decision upheld the group's right to ban gay members. we invited the boy scouts of america on today's program, but they said they're not scheduling interviews at this time. we're joined by eagle scout who's lesbian parents were actively involved in his boy scout activities, and wants others to be allowed a similar opportunity. zach wahls is with us, founder of skills for equality. he is also the author of, "my two moms: lessons of love, strength, and what makes a family." zach wahls, it is great to have you straight from i won here in
6:35 pm
new york city. tell us your story. >> i join the cub scouts when i was 6 years old, like jennifer son, my mom was involved in my experience. jackie, my short mom, was a den mom. she was revered by all of the other boys. we move from wisconsin to iowa and my mom stayed involved. when i got to boy scouts, jackie became our rank and then spent coordinator. any time he earned a merit badge or moved up a ring, she is keeping track of that. imagine it is a very busy job, but she was very committed. she understood the importance of the values and the experience. i got my eagle scout when i was 16, 2007. i graduated out of the program. i delivered signatures to a national board in dallas and it was a very big success.
6:36 pm
we got a lot of press coverage and people were starting ask questions about what this ban meant for the program. at that deliver an orlando, florida, i met a number of eagle scouts interested in bringing this ban on gay people and the scouts down. we started this organization, scouts for equality. we have thousands of signatures. we have been leading his campaign for the last seven months. i think what we have heard last week the bsa considering this policy change after 35 years is a huge testament to the work we have done and the support we have had. >> what you expect will happen? can you say what you think the significance is of what president obama said on cbs? >> we expect the bsa to pass this proposed change. we think it will be close. they have put it on their formal agenda, which they don't do unless they think it will pass. that means local governing bodies have spoken out against
6:37 pm
the proposed policy requesting more time to "study goes with the issue. similar to what we heard some opponents of lifting the ban of don't ask, don't tell in the military. i think president obama is indoors and is probably the most high-profile endorsement we have seen -- endorsement is probably the most high-profile endorsement we have seen. mitt romney had also supported it. >> and we have texas governor rick . , an eagle scout himself, said saturday he opposed a change to what he called scouting century- old values. >> scouting is not a place where sexuality should be the intersection. scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons. sexuality is not one of them. never has been, doesn't need to be. >> that is texas governor rick perry.
6:38 pm
your response? >> he is not alone in his opposition to the policy. a lot of folks are trying to fall back on the "traditional moral values." but they're referring to this biblical funnel some that has become popular in the last 40 years. think about what truly american traditional values, this is probably nothing more american than the idea of "live and let live." that is how we founded this country. i have a hard time believing this is really what is most important here. >> to girl scouts confront the same situation? >> nodded all. their way in front of the boy scouts on this one. they do not have a ban on gay folks, or even young trans girls. currently, the boy scouts of america exclude those who do not believe in a higher power. >> what is the test? >> it is really on your word. you have to be a this say you
6:39 pm
believe in god, whatever that means to you. >> and if you say you don't they kick you out? >> you can be removed. like the ban on gay members, it is a dod to sit chelation. sometimes. usually when you are in a final review, you ask that questions. >> you have been vocal on his issues for a long time. marriage equality, equality and discounts. i want to play an excerpt from zach wahls's address to an iowa house committee has considered constitutional amendment to ban gay members. this video went viral with 15 million views in a month. >> the question always comes down to, can gaze raise kids? the conversation gets quiet because most people don't really have an answer. i raise my hand and say, i was raised by gay couple in doing pretty well. i scored in the 99th percentile on the act. i'm actually an eagle scout. i own and operate my own
6:40 pm
business. if i was your son, mr. chairman, i believe i'd make you very proud. i'm sure we will hear plenty of testimony how damaging having gay parents is on kids. but my 19 years, not once have ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that i was raised by gay couple. you know why? because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero affect on the concept of my character. >> that was zach wahls speaking in 2011, almost two years to the day, at the iowa house considering a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. >> after i gave that speech, the house went on to pass the constitutional amendment on a vote of 62-37 with one abstention but died the next day in the senate. however, that video was uploaded, without my knowledge, to youtube. vi ral. -- it went viral. it changed my life forever.
6:41 pm
>> what is he learned from being a scout that help to get involved in this campaign to begin with. >> this doubt is the scout law. loyal, a trustworthy, chris, kind, clean and reverent. >> you have them all. >> the idea that this should be a program where we want to say these values are only applicable to people who happen to be straight is frankly al to scouting. the methodist church said, this band is inconsistent with the values of dignity and respect that have always been the foundation of the scouting program read they have been enjoyed in their doors of the policy by various presbyterian clergy, a number of united methodists and episcopalian church are expected to accept it sooner rather than later. >> and the people in your group
6:42 pm
are not necessarily gay or straight? >> absolutely not read our entire paid staff are straight eagle scouts. we wanted to be available to young men in the future. if i ever have sons, i hope this program exists and is available to them to learn and grow and have the same experiences that i did growing up. >> thank you, zach wahls, for being with us, founder of scots for equality. he is an eagle scout who's lesbian parents are actively involved in his boy scout activities. he is author of, "my two moms: lessons of love, strength, and what makes a family." we will certainly follow this bsa boat, boy scouts of america. when we come back, daniel ellsberg, leading whistleblower in this country, and jacob appelbaum who just lost a federal case because -- well, he is afraid what it means that is
6:43 pm
twitter account, his email to be read by the government without his knowledge. stay with us.
6:44 pm
>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. >> a federal appeals court has ruled the government can continue to keep secret its
6:45 pm
efforts to pursue the private and permission of internet users without a warrant as part of its probe into the whistleblowing website wikileaks. the case involved three people connected to wikileaks whose twitter and enol records were sought by the government, including computer security researcher jacob appelbaum and icelandic parliamentarian birgitta jonsdottir. >> the aclu and the electronic frontier foundation, which represented the account holders, argued the subpoena violated there's -- the privacy rights and they should know why the government wanted their information. late last month, the court rejected a request to unseal all orders relating to the three individuals that may have been sent to companies other than twitter. we're joined by jacob appelbaum himself, a developer and advocate for the tor project, system enabling its users to communicate anonymously on the internet. well, reid i am glad we did not have to subpoena you to get here. >> i imagine i would have to know about it and ordered to shut out.
6:46 pm
>> talk about this federal court ruling that came down two weeks ago. >> essentially, we lost quite some time ago about the dating reveal to the u.s. government. the government essentially argues that metadata is not the same as content, therefore they can issue an administrative subpoena and this has a much lower are then a search warrant. it can also have a gag. in fact, most of them seem to have a gag. twitter unsealed this so we could fight it. we lost. we appealed again about secrecy the wish that is to say we think courts should have to keep an accurate record of this type of in order and other orders like it. we were hoping to learn there are other companies out there and that we would be able to challenge this expedition. >> why did they get your account, all of your information and twitter? >> many people from the
6:47 pm
government have said that i should understand why this is happening. the reality is, i don't understand what is happening in the legal sense -- at least until now. the government argues i should understand this is the case and this is the case because it is as secret as a grand jury proceeding. in some cases people have been threatened with effectively indefinite detention if they don't comply. >> what does that mean to comply? >> if they ask the question, they will either forcibly immunize them or threaten them with just attending them without really explaining what will happen. there is pressure coming from many angles. the government is saying effectively with this ruling that they want to have not just secret laws and interpretations, but no accountability. this is something i think is scary and we should have public was an interpretation and public
6:48 pm
accountability. what we see is more of the same. we see this with the indefinite detention and the targeted assassination. this is the internet version of that. they decide they don't have to get a search warrant and i have no right to resist. >> what are the implications of this ruling for government surveillance and what the limits are on it, if any? >> i think in the u.s. the gloves are off. when i was here with bill binney, he explained this is the case. >> the former national security agency -- >> it seems to be that anything the government wants is fair game without a warrant. that is terrifying. this seems to be the tip of the iceberg. as we know from the video with the fbi woman i met, she seemed to indicate there was a national security letter. i think these orders are important to be considered as the tip of an iceberg of an investigation, so there are probably other types of legal
6:49 pm
orders. i think is portant to stress that a date and -- metadata and aggregate are content. that means if you look at want event that i talk to you via email, the theory that we talk is metadata. the content is in very protected in any of the search warrant. they know i talked to every single morning, that tells a story, maybe even a really important story. maybe if they see i talked to dan other people, that also tells a story equal to content when viewed in an aggregate. that is something that is terrifying. the court does not seem to recognize that nor the location privacy issues with the internet. that is to say they watch and see every place i have been. they get this data and have a tracking device. in my case, i use the tor network to keep myself secret
6:50 pm
but most people don't. >> wikileaks founder julian assange was awarded the yoko ono lennon courage award for the arts in absentia this weekend. he remains holed up in the ecuadorean embassy in london fighting extradition to sweden. in a ceremony at the museum of modern art, artist and activist yoko ono paid tribute to julian assange. >> this 2013 courage award for the arts is presented to julian assange. with your courage, the truth was revealed to us. thank you. it gave us wisdom and power to heal the world. on behalf of the suffering world, i thank you. thank you. >> that was yoko ono giving an award to julian assange in absentia. jacob appelbaum, could you comment? >> you were there. >> i think the julian assange is
6:51 pm
a hero. he is a personal friend of mine and i think people should support him. i believe that award from yoko ono is quite an honor and i'm really happy to see some many people supporting julian and i helped the british government will grant him safe passage to ecuador, as he is effectively a political prisoner. >> at the museum of modern art, the ecuadorean foreign minister was also there to honor julian assange, as was daniel ellsberg, who is in our studio as well. a lawsuit challenging a controversial statute that gives the government the power to indefinitely detain u.s. citizens is back in federal court this week. on wednesday, a group of academics, journalists, and activists will prevent -- present oral arguments in court against a provision in the ndaa of the rise in the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorist suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. >> and a landmark ruling last of timber, judge katherine force of
6:52 pm
the southern district of new york struck down the indefinite detention provision, saying it likely violates the first and fifth amendments of u.s. citizens. the judge rejected the obama administration's argument that the ndaa merely reaffirmed an existing law recognizing the military's right to perform certain routine duties. however, president obama quickly do -- up to the judge's ruling and sought an emergency stay on the injection. joining us is daniel ellsberg, one of the plant is of the ndaa lawsuit and will be attending wednesday's hearings. welcome to "democracy now!" can you talk about this case? >> as an american citizen, i'm almost over, my emotions. i am here to attend the court hearing on wednesday at the federal court building where i expect to see the obama administration color itself with shame and arguing that american
6:53 pm
citizen can be detained indefinitely in military custody without charges of violating really the core principles of law that go back [indiscernible] on the other hand, i was up late last that reading 112-page document of catherine forest and i have to say -- >> the judge. >> the judgment granting an injunction saying these provisions of the law that will be argued and defended shamefully by the obama administration and by three u.s. senators who will be claiming that the detention is constitutionally legal, her argument was it was unconstitutional. when i read her detailed argument, 112 page, taking each point of the prosecution over nearly a year, evidence and a lack of evidence or argument taking each argument that this was constitutional and smashing it on this, i felt, cried as an
6:54 pm
american. i thought, this is the american citizen i fought for as a marine. this is a rule of law, the judge appointed by obama, who is willing to say that her boss is mistaken in planning this rule is compatible with our rule of law. it really says to me, at last, i think, that president obama, who was a constitutional teacher like professor john yoo of berkeley, who authored most of these torture memos in the first place. i think like yoo, obama has to be seen either as a broad constitutional lawyer or a man who likely believes the constitution simply does not bond an american prisoner in any way to indefinite lot of torture, in either way, i believe we have a teachable offense at all of the people are doing this case, including the three senators -- mccain, others
6:55 pm
who will be arguing today on this. we should be looking at brennan and other people connected with the torture program not in terms of confirmation hearings, but in terms of impeachment. >> it is called "hedges versus obama." a number of people are involved. chris hedges, director, part of a team at the new york times who won a pulitzer prize. >> i have great admiration for him. >> says he is talking to someone u.s. deems terrorist, he could end up in jail himself as a journalist. known chomsky, cornel west, yourself -- >> has been identified earlier as a spokesperson from wikileaks, bradley manning right now is on trial in military court with the absurd and unconstitutional charge of aiding the enemy without any element of intent, merely that his information would get to obama -- am sorry, to osama bin laden or al qaeda eventually,
6:56 pm
thus making it in effect a terrorist organization. but giving it to wikileaks is like saying wikileaks is the enemy he is aiding and affecting. simply by associating with jake, whom i've got to do, or supporting wikileaks and manning as i do, it is very clear that my speech, my first amendment activities in support of their activities can be interpreted by the vague, broad terms of this unconstitutional 1021b2 section of the ndaa as "substantial support" to an association says it with terrorism. it makes a possible -- there's no one at this table really who could be exempt from some informed official who we now learn has the power to condemn us to death. if you can do that, i'm sure they can fill quite easy about simply putting us in military custody like bradley manning, even though we're not in the military.
6:57 pm
>> this lot is unprecedented in u.s. history. >> it is not all law, but the practice. what we have seen for the past 10 years is a systematic assault on the constitution of the united states in every aspect, it in the illegal surveillance, or less surveillance conducted against me for years ago by president nixon, and then led to his impeachment proceedings. now it is regarded as legal. efforts to assault me or, on the steps of the capital in 1972. presidential hit squad of the kind the president now takes president and claiming he runs all over the world. >> explain for people your story, hello was 40 years ago. >> i was on trial for the same offense essentially as bradley manning, though he is in the military. i released 7000 pages of top- secret documents demonstrating lies, crimes, treaty violations
6:58 pm
by the american government. we were killing americans and others at a great rate. for that i was facing 115 years in prison, just as bradley manning is now facing life charges, essentially the same. in my case, the crimes against me of illegal surveillance the lash the use of the cia against me, now illegal under the patriot act and the hit squad against a, now allegedly illegal by the president, they work impeachment charges. they should leave right now -- we have seen this assault. the time has come. defend the constitution and try to restore its. >> daniel ellsberg and jacob appelbaum, thank you for being with us. we will do part 2 after the show and put it on 02/05/13 02/05/13
6:59 pm democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]

Democracy Now
WHUT February 5, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm EST

Series/Special. Current Events & News in the World

TOPIC FREQUENCY U.s. 29, Us 12, New York 11, Obama Administration 10, Obama 9, Jacob Appelbaum 7, America 6, Julian Assange 6, John Brennan 6, Syria 6, Cia 6, Aclu 5, Zach Wahls 5, Jameel Jaffer 5, Daniel Ellsberg 5, Bradley Manning 4, Israel 4, Amy Goodman 4, United States 4, Yemen 3
Network WHUT
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 78 (549 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 2/5/2013